History of the Dorset Soldier

The Dorset Regiments first Battle honour was won in India in 1757. The Regiments soldiers where in the first government troops to fight in an area that had been looked after by East India Company mercenaries. The Regiments motto 'Primus In Indus' born on the cap badge of the Devon and Dorset's today, commemorates this fact and the Regiments singular achievement at the battle of Plassey.

Under General Clive, 534 members of the 39th Foot were despatched to the Calcutta area, following a suffocation of many British prisoners in the infamous 'Black Hole' incident. A new Nabob of Bengal had determined to rid his territory of British merchants and the East India factory at Calcutta.

After a 15 mile advance through monsoon floods the 3,000 men under General Clive faced a seemingly overwhelming forces of Nabob who advanced to meet them.The enemy numbered 60,000 including elephants and cannon. The battle started with the Nabobs artillery pounding the British positions, but rain that developed into a monsoon thunder storm which dampened the natives powder leaving them at the mercy of the British. The enemy were eventually defeated by a vigorous attack led by the Grenadiers of the 39th.

The victory at plassey paved the way for British primacy in India. 'Plassey' is a unique honour awarded only to the Dorset's


After spending their early years either in Gibraltar or as marines aboard the Fleet in the Mediterranean, the Regiment was sent to America to bring the independently-minded colonialists to heel. Their first action in 1775 was with Commodore Parker's ill coordinated attempt on Charleston. Later that year they attacked New York, inflicting Washington's third defeat in as many months, and occupied Rhode Island without a fight and garrisoned it for the next two years.


The hit and run tactics of the Boer farmers, together with marksmanship and their knowledge of the countryside, presented a challenge to the Army that absorbed vast amounts of manpower to counter. The Army was stretched to man its Empire garrisons and conduct an increasingly costly war. For the first time since the start of their movement, the Volunteers were called upon to support the Regular Army. Imperial Yeomanry Companies and Volunteer Service Companies were formed in 1900. Both counties found a company of infantry to join the regular battalions and a company of mounted yeomanry to counter Boer mobility of the open veldt. The volunteers and yeomanry of the two counties earned their first battle honors for their contribution to the Boer War Campaigns of 1900-1901. The Dorset Yeomanry were reputed to be the first troops into Pretoria but had to withdraw to allow General Roberts to enter in triumph.


The Northwest frontier is a phrase that conjures up images of skirmishes in the hills of northern India and the foothills of the Himalayas, with fiercely independent and warlike tribes. By the end of the Nineteenth Century, the Boundaries of the British Empire were well established in modern day Pakistan and India. However, constant expeditions to pacify the Pathan and other hill tribes were required to maintain any semblance of peace.
During the Tirah/Punjab campaign of 1897 Private Vickery won a Victoria Cross for the Dorset Regiment for repeatedly. rescuing soldiers during two battles.

Ref: www.army.mod.uk and dorset soldier pub

History of Corfe Mullen

Corfe Mullen is a village in Dorset, England, on the north-western urban fringe of the South East Dorset conurbation and is part of the rural district of East Dorset. The population is 10,147 (2001). The name Corfe Mullen is derived from the Old English for a cutting or pass; 'corf' and the Old French for a Mill; 'molin'.
The mill referred to is the old water mill on the River Stour, mentioned in the Domesday Book, where the village originally stood. Despite the proximity of the urban area, Corfe Mullen is surrounded by Green Belt and has six churches, five pubs, four schools, various shops and local businesses, a village hall, and a whole host of community and sports organizations which help to preserve its community spirit and identity.

Early Nomadic Tribes and Settlers
The first evidence of people living in the area consists mainly of a number of flint axeheads that have been found within the village and which date from the Old and Middle Stone Ages. Around 3,000 BC, the first real settlers came, cleared the forests and began to farm, although even they were largely nomadic.
Later settlers, during the Bronze Age, built burial mounds or Barrows, examples of which may be found to the east of the village at Barrow Hill and at Naked Cross at the southern end of the village.
These forms of occupation continued into the Iron Age; evidence of pottery manufactured around the first century BC may be found at East End. Just prior to the coming of the Romans, in around 50BC, the area was inhabited by the Belgae.

The Roman Second Legion under Vespasian arrived in the Corfe Mullen area during the Forties AD and built a 40 acre fortress just to the north of the village at Lake Farm. The location of this fortress was important; the River Stour provided a defensive barrier to the north and the site is only 3 miles from the Iron Age Hill Fort at Badbury Rings. Lake cut this important tribal centre off from the settlements at Dudsbury and Hengistbury Head.
In order to subjugate the local tribes and keep themselves supplied and in communication with other Roman centres, the Legion built several roads that run through or close to the area. Probably the most important of these, and the only one visible today, is the road that connected the deep water anchorage at Morionio (now Hamworthy) and Lake. and continues northwards to Badbury and Hod Hill. This road forms the eastern boundary of the village. Note that in the picture on the right the original road is the overgrown bank on the left, not the farm track on the right. In addition, traces of two other roads have been found, both of which are underneath or follow the course of modern roads. One of these linked Lake with Dorchester, and is roughly aligned with the present A31. The third road found ran through the spine of the village and followed the present road to Wareham. Although the Roman occupation of Britain lasted nearly 400 years, the military presence at Corfe Mullen was very short lived, lasting until only the sixties AD. However, there is ample evidence that the Roman influence continued in agriculture and industry even after they had left and the Celtic speaking people that descended from the original tribes took over the area again.

The Saxons probably settled in the area around the seventh century. Christianity arrived before 700AD and open air services were believed to be held on the same site as the old village church (see the Normans below). During the centuries leading up to the millennium, division of land into Hundreds and tithe took place and Manorial courts dealt with disputes. The name of Corf came into usage during this period and was located in the hundred of Cogdean, with the court being held at Cogdean Elms in the north of the present village. A number of other land holdings dating from this period have been found around the village, the most notable being at Mountain Clump and the Knoll, where the remains of cottages may be seen.

The Normans
The Norman Period and the Middle Ages After the Norman Conquest, Corf's entry in the Domesday Book shows that it appears to have been a single manor under 'Robert, son of Gerold', but was previously held by two Saxon lords; Waga and Egelric. At some time during the next two or three centuries, the village reverted to two manors; probably Corf Molin and Corf Hubert. The latter manor was almost certainly named after a former lord, Hubert de la Vielle. By 1469 the two manors were combined into one again, although the two names were still preserved at that time. It was probably another century before the present day name came about; this merger was probably driven by the general depopulation of the country that occurred in the Middle Ages due to migraton to the towns and the Black Death. A third part of the village came to be known as Corfe Mullen St Nicholas and the origin of this appears to date back to a land acquisition by St Nicholas Hospital (a Salisbury charity) in 1279. The present day areas of Lambs Green, East End and Brog Street were still called this until the early part of the 20th Century. Construction of the original parish church, then called St Nicholas but now St Hubert's, was commenced during the 13th Century, with the tower being added a little later.

Elizabethan to Georgian Times
After the major changes seen after the Normans, a period of stability came to the village for about 300 years. From Elizabethan to Georgian times, the story is mainly one of growing prosperity with a number of wealthy families being the major landowners as the years passed. None of these families built their homes within the parish boundaries, although the Phelips family took over an Elizabethan Manor House (the Court House) near the church and lived there for many years. Apart from this, the major architectural legacies of this period are some notable farm houses, a few cottages and the original building that housed Lockyer's Charity School, formed in 1706 by Richard Lockyer. This building is still used by the present day Lockyers Middle School. One important change was the construction of a toll road by private enterprise during the latter half of the 18th Century. The present Higher Blandford Road and Mill Street (the A31 from the old church, past the Coventry Arms pub and mill) was part of a completely new route between Poole and Blandford. This development provided the people of Corfe Mullen with access to the major markets of these two towns

The Victorian Period During the reign of Queen Victoria, the whole of Britain went through major changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution, and Corfe Mullen benefited from advances in technology. More toll roads were constructed, including an extension to Mill Street which provided a new route from Bere Regis to Wimborne. By the late 1800s however, the railways had arrived, with tracks first appearing within walking distance of the village at Wimborne and later with a route that went through the village. Even though the village had a number of tracks through it, it was well into the 20th Century before a Halt was provided, and even that was never a success.

The 20th Century
The story of the village through the 20th century is one of accelerating development. Prior to the Second World War, some new properties were built, with the populated area gradually extending up the hill from the river. Even a casual inspection of the housing in the village reveals that the original centre was along Mill Street with cottages also being found at Brog Street, Lambs Green and East End. Development between the wars is noticeable along Higher Blandford Road and Wareham Road, with few older properties in evidence away from those roads. Then, in the fifties and sixties, development took off, with major new housing estates around Phelips Road and Hillcroft Road. In the last forty years of the century, most of the area between Broadstone and the eastern boundary of the village has been filled in and a stranger could be forgiven for thinking that Corfe Mullen was part of Poole. During the early part fo the century, the village became famous for its Violet and Lavender cultivation, which was centred around Violet Farm. The trade diminished however and the farm was demolished in the 1960s, along with a 300 year old tithe barn, to make way for new bungalows.

Modern Times
The Village Today As the village has grown so the population has changed. It is probably true to say that very few of the inhabitants actually work in the village or the immediate area, or were even born there. Large numbers of people commute to the nearby towns and cities of Wimborne, Poole, Bournemouth, Ferndown and even Southampton every day. Even so, pride in the village is high, with the general level of crime and vandalism being pretty low despite the close proximity of the South East Dorset conurbation with a combined population of three to four hundred thousand people. The countryside around the village is split between agriculture and heathland, with woodland to be found fringing most areas. The existence of many bridleways criss-crossing the area around the village encourages horse riding and there are a number of stables nearby. The village also has a large Recreation Ground with facilities for outdoor sports including football, cricket and tennis.
Churches St Hubert's, the original parish church. St Nicholas of Jerusalem, the new Anglican church. Corfe Mullen Baptist Church Corfe Mullen Family Church East End Methodist Church (part of the Wimborne Circuit) Wareham Road Methodist Church (part of the Poole and Swanage Circuit)

Rushcombe County First School Henbury View First School Lockyer's County Middle School Corfe Hills School (actually just outside the village, but serves older village children) Other Places of Entertainment Apart from the local pubs, a weekly youth club is held near to Lockyers School and various activities are available in the Village Hall.

Famous (and Infamous)
Ex-residents Isaac Gulliver, the famous Smuggler lived in High House in East End
William Joyce, who is better known as 'Lord Haw-Haw', once lived in the Court House.

Ref: Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia.

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